In which many deeply improbable events occur: a very rich and unattractive man turns out to be our hero complete with kind heart; a feisty young women involved in running a gambling den eventually collapses in tears and realises all she wants is a man's strong arms around her; same feisty young woman spends whole novel declaring she hates the man only she doesn't really; same woman again persuades gently born girl whom she has never previously met to run away from home; very rich man is kidnapped, manages to escape and this apparently makes him fall in love with his captor.
It's all just so unlikely it becomes irritating. Max's transformation I can just about live with although I do not think he would have forgiven Deb the kidnapping but Deb drives me wild. It is not possible to think you hate someone, find them loathsome, then actually realise you're in love. It doesn't work that way and I don't care if it's a literary device widely used it is very annoying. Whilst we are at it, burning through a rope tied round your wrists, I doubt it, with a candle?? As for the rest, Adrian is wet, Phoebe is worse, is she the most irritating girl so far? I think so! Lucius is a plot device with a cod Irish accent and so unlikely. The only one I have time for is Lady Bellingham who is funny.
Oh, and the worst bit, the bit that nearly made me through it across the room . . . When Adrian says something about Deb not needing a man to protect her and she thinks sadly about how wrong he is - aaargh! She's as wet as Phoebe really.